Vaccine Equity with the Autism Society of America
This April, Families Fighting Flu joins the Autism Society of America to celebrate Autism Acceptance Month, recognizing the diverse and varied experiences across the Autism spectrum. The Autism Society of America works every day to create connections, empowering everyone within the Autism community with the resources they need to live fully. With 1 in 36 children receiving an Autism diagnosis, the Autism Society is dedicated to increasing health equity in the Autism and disability community.
Families Fighting Flu applauds the Autism Society of America for its Vaccine Education Initiative (VEI) – a public health model that promotes vaccine confidence, education, and accessibility to increase vaccination rates in underserved communities.
The Autism community experiences unique barriers to vaccination driven by environmental and social factors, access barriers, and a complex history of trust barriers. The Autism Society’s Guide to Accessible Vaccination provides tips on how to reduce barriers to vaccination before, during, and after the vaccine appointment.
“By rewriting the vaccine experience, we are creating a path for increased vaccination rates for Autistic individuals and those with disabilities and complex support needs,”
Christopher Banks, President and CEO of Autism Society of America.
The VEI model uses evidence-based practices such as social stories, visual schedules, visual supports, and embedding sensory and communication supports at each stage of vaccination; the Autism Society’s VEI model is designed to meet the unique and diverse needs within the Autism community with the understanding that what some individuals may need, many more will benefit from.
The Autism Society also offers training to prepare healthcare providers with knowledge, strategies and helpful tools and resources to improve accessibility of vaccinations. By supporting patients, families and caregivers, and providers, the VEI is transforming the vaccine experience – improving outcomes for all.
The Autism Society looks forward to collaborating with Families Fighting Flu to help increase awareness, education, and accessibility of flu vaccinations across the country this fall. To find an accessible clinic near you and to learn more about this initiative, please visit the Autism Society’s website or email VEI@autism-society.org
The Vaccine Education Initiative is just one of many initiatives seeking to improve inclusivity practices and support health equity within the Autism community. Give today to support the Autism Society’s efforts and programs like the VEI.